Helena Middle School releases information for in-person learning

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA – Students attending Helena Middle School during the 2020 fall semester have been given two options for learning, which include traditional or virtual learning. The school has now released a plan for what changes students participating in traditional learning can expect upon returning to classes for in-person learning.

There are many changes to the traditional way of operating the school, which include staggered dismissal from classes to encourage social distancing, required mask wearing, specific times for locker use and other measures to ensure proper sanitization and distancing among students and faculty.

“Students will rotate each class period; however, there will be a staggered dismissal from each period by grade level to maximize social distancing during class changes,” the school’s plan reads. “Students will have three minutes between classes in order to decrease the amount of time in the hallways and to further maximize social distancing.”

Larger classes such as physical education will still meet, however the spaces they meet in will be maximized by using the cafeteria and the gym in some situations to encourage social distancing. Band and choir classes are still going to meet, however the school is still developing a plan to make the safety of students and faculty a priority.

Other measures include having all students face one direction with assigned seats in each classroom. For the time being, group projects or other close activities will not be taking place.

The school also plans to have a dedicated quarantine room in the event a student or faculty member begins exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms in order to isolate those individuals from potentially spreading the virus.

The school will serve breakfast and lunch, however students will eat breakfast in their first period classroom and lunch will be eaten in their fourth period classroom.

Sanitization efforts will be in place by the school’s maintenance staff including cleaning where “the focus will be on techniques and products that kill and mitigate the potential spread of the virus,” according to the HMS plan.

As students prepare to return back to school HMS wants them and their parents to know the measures they are taking to ensure safety at their facility. More information can be found by visiting Shelbyed.k12.al.us/schools/hlms/.